Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Amicus Curaiue s Report at Odds with SIT's Closure Report

Citizens for Justice and Peace

April 11, 2012

The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) expresses its acute disappointment at the intentions of the SIT in filing a complete closure report in the mammoth criminal complaint dated 8.6.2006 filed by Smt Zakia Ahsan Jafri against chief minister Shri Narendra Modi and 61 others. The CJP has assisted the victim survivor and widow of the late Shri Ahsan Jafri and was also co-petitioner in SLP 1088/2008 in the Supreme Court. Though this conclusion by the SIT was not unexpected, given the SIT's postures in the Supreme Court (the Supreme Court had remarked on March 15 2011 "your inferences [to RK Raghavan Chairman] do not match the findings") we had expected the SIT to re examine and revaluate its own interpretations following the Amicus Shri Raju Ramachandran's report. Unfortunately this has not happened and now we will have to battle this closure report through a cogently drafted protest petition relying on voluminous evidence that we are convinced shows prosecutable evidence. It has been widely reported that the independent assessment made by Shri Ramachandran found, contrary to the SIT, that there was evidence to prosecute not just Shri Modi but senior policemen.
The CJP welcomes the decision of the Magistrate’s court to make available to the complainant the SIT report, along with all statements and all evidences including the Amicus Raju Ramachandran report. This is a first step to collating our arguments to contest SIT suggestion to close the investigation.

The CJP would like to take this opportunity to emphasise that while a setback, the SIT closure report by no means signals the end of the legal battle aimed at booking criminal culpability for conspiracy to commit mass murder and subvert evidence in reprisal killings in 19 districts of the state of 
Gujarat in 2002. Judicial interpretations of the investigating agencies assessment have still to be undertaken and the fact that the Supreme Court posited its own Amicus against the SIT appointed by it suggests some serious points of contestation. The CJP believes that however long and hard, the battle to book criminal culpability for mass crimes in Gujarat in 2002 will eventually be won.
The investigation of political crimes of the magnitude alleged in the complaint dated 8.6.2006 need the skills of a sharp investigator, the understanding of communal violence and its fallout (how it can or can't be controlled) and most of all, exceptional courage and unimpeachable integrity. A vast majority of senior bureaucrats and policemen in India -- comfortable with the record of impunity enjoyed by those in charge as also the political bosses --would like to peddle, the theory that the convulsions of 2002 in Gujarat (that claimed 2,500 innocent lives and included daylight gang rape and murder) were crimes of omission and not commission. While the SIT has bought into this mindset, the fact is that the exemplary evidence supplied by former Director General of Police, Gujarat, RB Sreekumar and DIGP Arms Unit, RajkotGujarat, Rahul Sharma apart from now dismissed police officer Sanjeev Bhatt suggests to the contrary. All this and more will be relied upon by us in the protest petition to be filed by us over the next few months.  

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